Letter to editor: is laboratory index really a practical and valid tool to predict mortality?

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Oytun M. G., Ercan P., Ceylan S., Baş A. O., Halil M., Cankurtaran M., ...More

BMC geriatrics, vol.21, no.1, pp.535, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12877-021-02478-2
  • Journal Name: BMC geriatrics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.535
  • Keywords: Mortality Index, Laboratory Index, Frailty
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


We carefully studied the article titled "A practical laboratory index to predict institutionalization and mortality - an 18-year population-based follow-up study" written by Heikkila et al. and published in BMC Geriatrics on 25 February 2021 with great interest. We would like to make some comments regarding this article and tool. Laboratory Index (LI) has been executed with the data of 728 patients who had followed-up in our center, however the LI score was not able to predict the 10-year and 18-year mortality. Therefore, a question mark has been aroused in our minds at some points. Neither frailty nor comorbidities were considered in this index. For a geriatric patient, it would be inadequate to evaluate laboratory results regardless of the clinical status. Similarly, it would not be appropriate to predict mortality only on the basis of laboratory results without considering the clinical status of the patient. We think that although the recent study has a great impact, it can be improved by incorporating data on the comorbidities and frailty status of the patients into the analysis.